Sunday, 11 July 2010

A great holiday and a sad story in Derbyshire

If you think of England, you may think of London and all it's great buildings, but there is another side...the "green and pleasant land" as we all used to sing at school! The picture of the landscape of Derbyshire for me depicts this, the green fields, the stone walls dividing them and the lush vegetation.We stayed in a village called Sheldon which is a couple of miles outside Bakewell, and this is the lovely little barn conversion we stayed in with it's own little garden.It was spotlessly clean and every comfort included. These cows were driven up the village twice a day for milking and nice to see even if we did have to wait a bit to get out in the mornings!
Bakewell is a lovely little town with interesting small shops and seems largely untouched by the supermarket giants that ruin our towns now. Down by the river these folk were dancing to old 40's music and passers by were joining in, it was a great atmosphere.There is a village called Eyam near Bakewell which has a beautiful window in the Church depicting the plague that killed so many of the villagers in 1665-6, in total over 14 months, 260 villagers died. If you want to see the window better please click on the picture.
The bottom left of the window shows the local tailor, George Vicars opening a parcel of cloth that had been sent from London, unfortunately it also contained fleas and as he dried it out the fleas became active. George died a few days later of the plague.
The Vicar of the parish, William Mompesson decided that as people were dying all around, their services should be held out in the open to minimise the risk of infection. It was decided that everyone should stay in the village to contain the outbreak, and food was left outside the village for them to pick up with no human contact. There was a young couple, Emmott Sydall from Eyam and her sweetheart Rowland Torre from a neighbouring village who would meet at a river and shout across to each other but sadly Emmott and eight of her family died of the plague and this is in the bottom right of the window.
The Vicar's wife, Catherine Mompesson nursed many of the victims herself and lost her own life in the process, aged 28 leaving a young family. Every year on the Sunday nearest her death a service is held and a wreath laid on her grave to this day.
A sad story but it happened in so many places back them, it's well worth a visit and the village is very pretty anyway.


Von said...

Know it well as I lived in Derbyshire not far from here for some years.Lovely to see it again!
Lovely cottage you stayed in too.

Elizabethd said...

My daughter lives near Stockport and has often taken us to some of the lovely Derbyshire villages.
That looks like a super cottage.

bellaboo said...

We had a lovely holiday there a few years ago and stayed in Ashford-in-the-water.Like you we loved the peace and quiet of the place.
What an interesting but tragic story depicted in that stained glass window.

Bellaboo :0)

Happyone :-) said...

I for one don't think of London when I think of England. I think of all the lovely little villages that I walked through on my Wayfarers vacation. I love reading Maria Willett books (just finished one) which takes place in Devon. It always makes me what to move there! :-)

The stained glass window is beautiful. Glad you had such a nice holiday.

Cindy said...

Nice photos of a very peaceful looking place. Sad story but one showing how others care for those in need. Thanks

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Derbyshire is such a beautiful part of the country...we recently had a trip to Ashbourne and the Tessington Trail and it was great. I definitely want to spend more time there.

The Wessex Reiver said...

That brought back happy memories of a wonderful camping and walking holiday around Bakewell a few years back. I can still taste the "real" Bakewell tart we had.

BTW : I've got a new blog (and from now only blog) from this week, hope you keep dipping in.. thank you in anticipation. Andrew